Thoughts on Antivirus software


I currently use one, but I am couries what you guys think.

When I get asked I often say:
Security before Privacy

What do you think? should I change this attitude?
What antivirus software would you recommend?

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i use windows defender + malwarebytes premium

(Ekrem) #3

I use only Voodoo Sheild for Antivirus + Simplewall for Firewall

(blacklight447) #4

Well these days most anti-virus suites do nothing more the send back data and add attack surface. if you want an antivirus, stick to Windows defender. Note though that one should not see a virus scanner as a defense. virus scanners only help clean up the mess AFTER your defences have failed.


open source anti virus clam av

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Seconded, DNS and mail filters, firewalls and good opsec are your friend. AV is often the enemy of privacy.

I sell AV solutions and I have received lists from vendors including the following info about companies who have used free or trial versions of AV software:

  • Endpoint numbers
  • Endpoint types
  • Endpoint name/IP/Mac
  • Installed Apps
  • Infections found
  • Infections cleaned

One list had a column titled “Emotet detected, not cleaned”!

(Freddy Marsden) #7

What about for MacOS - is malwarebytes ok?

(Kyle11C) #8

Look at Objective-See, these applications are the best for MacOS security. FOSS as well!

(Kyle11C) #9

Windows Defender
WPD is a must!
If you need a Anti-Virus then
But you really don’t need one…

The go-to place for securing a Mac!
And all of his apps are FOSS!

ClamAV but I don’t even run it :thinking: Maybe I should, idk…

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(Jonah) #10

I used to think this, because it’s true for people like you and I, and easy to assume that people have some common sense. And then a couple people asked me to clean up their devices, and there were so many issues that would have

So for non-techy people I always install uBlock Origin on the browser of their choice, and either install Avast (on Mac) or harden Windows Defender settings for them right out of the box. I usually don’t even tell them about it, for fear that they’d disable it.

But for people who know how to use a computer, not just “use Facebook” or “use email” or what have you, then yeah, not super necessary. Just don’t disable security features like Gatekeeper on Mac or UAC* on Windows (I hope if you’re on Linux you don’t need security advice like this) and you’re pretty much set.

* In fact if you’re on Windows (for some reason), turn UAC all the way up. Everything else is pointless.

This is my attitude as well honestly. IMO if you don’t have security, you can’t have privacy. Privacy is built atop a secure foundation.

(Jonah) #11

These tools are great security tools, I use a solid half of them and they work super well. But they are not a replacement for antimalware if you suspect you’re already infected. @FreddyMarsden MalwareBytes is a great tool for full system scans.

(Kyle11C) #12

I was thinking of KnockKnock but that’s not really an “Anti” malware. More of a scanner that uncovers malware. You are right!

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(Jonah) #13

And more specifically it displays any persistently installed applications, which most malware falls under (but so does a lot of legitimate applications). So it helps uncover potential malware yes, but a lot of their tools require manual intervention for removal, and it requires the user to determine whether or not something is malware themselves. So IMO it’s not a replacement for specific malware targeting software like MalwareBytes for most end users :smile:

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(Esmail EL BoB) #14

you can use open source antivirus or use that one with good privacy policy or just be smart, like know what websites or files that maybe will have virus or just use linux xD


Security before Privacy

Obviously. First of all, you can’t have privacy if you don’t have security. And then, what good is it knowing that Kellog’s Corn Flakes cannot know you like Kellog’s Corn Flakes, if your files are encrypted by ransomware ?

I have been running (free) anti-viruses for ages, and I recently cracked. First, I uninstalled Avira (free version), because it had grown to behaving so much like an actual piece of malware (and adware) that it became unbearable.

I’m glad I did that. My computer runs faster since.

Then, rather by chance, I uninstalled a specific banking malware suppressor recommended by my bank, IBM Trusteer Rapport. Then I realized how much that piece of software was an actual virus, encroaching in multiple places and wreaking actual havoc.

Suddenly, several of my (wanted, and useful) programs, which had been misbehaving in extremely annoying ways, began to work normally again. Two minutes-delays before a program would launch disappeared instantly. Exceedingly slow searches in some databases went back to acceptable. And so on and so forth.

Now I only have Windows Security Essentials, but since I’m on Windows 7, it is bound to stop being updated in a short while. I really don’t know what to do afterwards.

I don’t think you don’t need any anti-virus if you’re on Windows. Obviously, an isolated user with some technical awareness is less at risk than a company, which is bound to harbour, statistically, a percentage of careless users. But still. The digital bandits out there are so vicious.


Get to windows 10 or off of Windows entirely. If you must stay, try to get a clean Win10 install and enable defender.

Pick you poison, as others have said, malwarebytes cleanup tool is effective and free. You give them usage data which they will absolutely share/sell, it’s not as bad as some others.

Firewall, dns filters, and a good reputable mail provider with decent filtering will do the real work. Hardened browser will do the rest.

None of it is worth a damn without your own awareness and opsec

(Freddy Marsden) #17

Is it worth having that along with Malwarebytes? or just on its own.


is antivirus still a thing? even on windows i havent used one since like 10 years back. i think u’ll get far with just some common sense on the internet.


That’s how I roll. I understand some folk might want a safety net, since we’re all human and can be susceptible to clicking on the odd dodgy-looking download link, but for me, I have a setup where I can easily just burn Windows and reinstall . Key is to have a good backup plan so that you’re not able to lose important files whatever happens.


Bought lifetime license when Malwarebytes was betatesting and first offered subscription license, which they still honor all these years later (including all upgrades, so exception to the norm for such licensing imo) and they have my respect for that.

While I’m no longer on Windows this past year, I do maintain one last Win7 box (and run w7 in VM) and MBAM has never let me down. Also, I didn’t care for their browser addon though but it has been over a year since I’ve mess with it. I also see they have a pretty hefty pricetag on Premium now but I did consider them to be the best for my needs and would pay it because to me it is really that good as well nice and light on “resources”

and although not AV I see mention of firewalls above as well, good combo on Windows to use and keep maintained! I think I ran nearly every software personal firewall available over the past couple decades and while some of my most preferred have disappeared or fallen into disrepair the one I settled on a few years back is still looking maintained: Windows Firewall Control (WFC) by Binisoft (bought by MalwareBytes a year ago). Was shareware at the time, and buying license was worth the dime at the time, although they released completely as freeware after MB bought them, keeping original dev onboard. Good and simple, uses Windows integrated firewall and makes for easy rules management.

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